Rural Life in the UP of Michigan Some stories about life on 160 rural acres in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

January 29, 2011

Big Honker

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin0 @ 10:48 pm

I try not to fell trees when I’m home alone during the week, so I had some pent up tree felling feelings when Saturday rolled around and Alice was home. I have all but one of the previous batch of spruce logs sawed into lumber, and am anxious to get another batch of logs on the rack for some more sawing.

I haven’t figured out a way to get a picture of myself waddling out to the woods yet, but I hope I do soon, because I must look pretty strange. I have my big Carhartt jacket on, an orange chook, and my logging helmet with hearing muffs on my head. I wear my big sorrels, and my logging chaps. Then I sling my chainsaw over my shoulder and walk out to the job. I don’t think I could run in that getup to save my life, which is something I think about frequently out there. If a tree decided to fall the wrong way, I make double sure I have a clear path in at least two directions just in case.

I had my eye on 4 trees for this afternoon’s work. One big, one small, and two in between. I sure do find parts of this project discouraging. The spruce trees on our property were its glory. Tall and straight, and probably growing here since the place was actively farmed, which must be 70 or more years ago. For some reason this past year we’ve lost so many of them…

notched.jpgI cut the small one down first, because it was in the way of the big one I had to cut. This picture shows the big one notched and ready to fall. This is a critical place in the process, because besides the notch, I’ve back cut as much as I dare, and the tree is still standing there. It is tempting to keep cutting at this point, but then you lose the hinge, and the tree can then fall whatever way if feels like. You probably can’t see in this picture, but I have the small felling wedge I carry in my pocket pounded into the back cut at this point, but the tree is still stubbornly standing there.

treedown.jpgSo I used the chainsaw to cut a wedge out of one of the spruce branches lying around and pounded that in. I had to do it several times until finally I heard a snap and got out of the way. While the first picture didn’t give much of an idea how big this tree was, the second one shows the scale a bit better because the chainsaw with its 20″ bar is sitting on the stump. I’ll get some nice lumber out of this tree. Tomorrow I’ll hopefully get them limbed, bucked to length and skidded to the sawmill site.

alicepie.jpgI forgot I had this picture in my camera until I downloaded them. Alice had a birthday this week, and she and I both like pie better than cake. I unfortunately wasn’t able to be home when she got home from work on her birthday day, so I made this pie and had it out waiting for her when she got home. I wasn’t sure how I was going to decorate it, so I just started carving at the crust with a kitchen knife, and I’d say it came out pretty well. It was good too!

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